Photographic Memory


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I have found myself interested in the idea of photographic memory since I was a little kid and read these books about a kid who could recall specific images and visuals after hours and even days. I always asked myself, "Why don't I have this skill?" I then researched this idea and found that it is because as of right now science show photographic memory is nonexistent. 
ChessSet.jpg
Scientists did multiple studies on photographic memory, but one that constantly was reoccurring was the Chessboard Test. During this test, a chess player got to glance at a board and then reconstruct the board from scratch. This is impressive, but only when they are in realistic chess positions. Scientists found that when the board was put together unrealistically, the chess player had no more of an advantage putting it together than the average person. 

It has been thought that instead of photographic memory, certain people are just much better with organizing and storing information inside their brains to pull out later. This knowledge has shattered my childhood.

5 Comments

My high school chemistry teacher was known for having a photographic memory so she would catch students re-using lab reports and other assignments. She was known for having the hardest exams and I guess that's why. I never knew a "photographic" memory doesn't exist. I always thought it did! However, I don't necessarily agree with what you wrote that photographic memories don't exist. I think they do, but just in different forms and we just assume they're all "photographic." I found a blog post written by someone who has a photographic memory and he wrote what it's like to have one-- the good and the bad. I would be extremely happy to have a photographic memory because most days it feels like I don't have any.

Lol on the childhood belief bro I feel your pain. I have also searched in vain to classify what I have as related to photographic memory; I experience very lucid dreams. Photographic memory, like you said, has not been pinned down by science but it has been linked to other traits such as high intelligence levels. Some studies claim that children are more likely to have photographic memory than adults. This article is another first hand account of having photographic memory http://www.articlesurfing.com/medicines_and_remedies/photographic_memory.html

As a child, my dad would always tell me to "take a picture of it with your eyes." I would then stare at the object I was focusing on, shut my eyes tight, then re-open them. I acted as if my eyes were a camera and my brain was the film. However, reading this now, I realize how much of my life was wasted "taking pictures". I'm not sure if I agree or disagree with your statement that claims it "does not exist", simply because at times I think I have some sort of photographic memory. However, the article below agrees with your statement, and provides good reason!

http://www.brainfacts.org/about-neuroscience/ask-an-expert/articles/2013/is-photographic-memory-real/

This is a very clever topic to write about. I am actually very shocked that photographic memory does not exist as I rely on this memory skill to help me pass exams (oops). Although this may not be a real thing, what some people have is similar to what photographic memory is well known as. We may not recall full details through 'photographic memory' but our memory works like a puzzle and tries to put together different pieces to get the big picture of things. We do remember the crucial information such as specific words when we are studying for an exam and are able to recall them at a later time. Not everyone is gifted with this handy talent as others may use different techniques to recall specific information, so there is still hope for people!

I don't know if you watch "Suits" on USA , or if you have heard of it but it is one of my all time favorite TV shows ever. The main character , Mike has a photographic memory and he was able to ace tests and become a lawyer without even going to law school . I always wondered if this could actually happen! Im very shocked that it is not really, a real thing. Though it makes sense that others are just able to store and pull out information than others ! Here is an interesting article I found on the topic.. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=i-developed-what-appears-to-be-a-ph

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